About Blue Thumb

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Blue Thumb—Planting for Clean Water®


Blue Thumb—Planting for Clean Water® is a public/private partnership that promotes native plants, raingardens, and shoreline stabilization projects to reduce runoff and improve water quality. Partners include local governmental units (watershed districts, conservation districts, cities and counties), non-profit organizations, and private companies such as nurseries, landscape design and build companies, and other companies that are working toward Blue Thumb goals. Blue Thumb is operated and managed by Metro Blooms through a license agreement with the Rice Creek Watershed District.


Where We Started:


Blue Thumb began in 2006 as an outreach program of the Rice Creek Watershed District (located in Blaine, Minnesota) to help its cities meet mandated water quality goals set forth in the Clean Water Act.


Our Challenge:


The EPA defines runoff as the nation’s number one threat to the water quality of our waterways, however the general public is not aware of how runoff from their property impacts our clean water and ways they can make a difference.


Our Shared Vision:


Clean water resources supported by beautiful and ecologically functional landscapes that minimize runoff in cities, towns and suburbs.


Our Impact:


  • Community engagement and behavior change to bridge information and action.
  • Changes in the landscaping norms among professionals and property owners.